“through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us. . ."

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Leave the Doors Wide Open

As I break and slow down to a stop

Besides the gates that lead to an avenue

To the mud-built house farther,

I see my friend’s face, darkening.

‘STOP!’ he shouts, ‘Do not come further!’

Knowing him, knowing how brutal he is

With those who love him, I smile and reply –

‘No, only till the gates’.

‘You treat me like shit, so does your wife

You use and leave me like a curry leaf.

You been to see them, haven’t you,’ he glares,

‘Go, go away!’

I realize his grievance; I had met

A mutual friend, now his bitter foe.

My son, standing beside, is appalled

At the gurgling of f-words

From someone whom he liked.

Later we depart, at the unopened gates,

My friend showing no remorse.

Knowing my quick temper,

My son asks why I didn’t tell him

To shut up or else.

I smile; he is my friend, I tell him.

Gates open either way,

Never, close the gates,

Never, shut the doors

Leave them ajar

Lest later when you open them,

You open them

To barren, empty lands.

***** Balachandran V, Trivandrum 04-11-2010

Painting by Gayle Faucette Wisbon


  1. :-) Never shut the door on anyone......

    Is this just a fiction?

  2. I know no words to describe the feeling this poem evokes in me
    “Leave them ajar
    Lest later when you open them,
    You open them
    To barren, empty lands.”
    There, before my eyes bloomed wisdom.

  3. @Insig: No, not fiction, it happened yesterday. I was two minds about making a poem out of it or to write a piece - decided on poem - I have been giving too many moral lessons these days, haven't I ?

    This person is a brilliant ayurvedic physician. i am one of the last remaining old friends. But there are people like him, who'd rather deny friendship, in a kind of masochistic act!

  4. @Arun: As a poem it isn't much, but i just couldn't waste the incident. A blogger is like a photographer; he/she is always alert for the nuggets of life that lie strewn around him/her.

    Like i have said elsewhere ( so would have others!!!) there is nothing new in truth or wisdom; only new interpretations.

  5. Wanted to clarify whether it was a true incident, but then read your comment. Good that you have written a poem; a paragraph or description would not have done justice to the emotion.

    Was your friend serious, or just taking you for a ride? Couldn't make that out. But the last lines of the poem sounds real sad.

  6. @ Thampi: Oh, yes, he was damn serious! There may have been other things bugging him, but he has always been like that, unfortunately, unable to distinguish between friend and foe, unable to respond to negativity with positivity.

  7. It's sad when people behave "rude" for no rhyme or reason. Like you said, if we keep our doors shut, when we open we'll find nothing but barren land!

    Like the sound of it, the last four lines...makes sense too :)

  8. It sounds good when you say that,
    But never leave doors open,
    Strangers might walk in.

  9. @RGB: What might have seen as rude by you and me would have been perfectly correct for him! You see, that's the problem - how you can come out of the situation unscathed and wise is what matters!

    @Doc: Once inside, they are no more strangers. And then there are people who will always be strangers, even they be your siblings!!

  10. This is one of the most riveting poems I have read in a long time. My gosh..The message is like turning the other cheek; which is basically what you did...I know this sounds mad, in some way, but it is like an analogy of one's beloved, loyal pet in many ways..They may become ill in some manner and turn on their master but their master loves them and never shuts the proverbial door on them...I am so glad that you did write this... Very informative and thought evoking.. How quick we are to let our emotions flare in the wrong directions..Bravo Balan...

  11. @Sandy: He is a friend,Sandy. Unlike him who discards friendship, for me, friends are for keeps. No matter what they say, what they do, they remain friends for me because I always look at their better side.

  12. Makes a good point - "Later when you open them, you open them to barren empty lands"

    How true!

    ~ NRIGirl

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  14. But I disagree.
    Doors are at times necessary to be shut, and shut so that life this side is not, mauled, rendered barren.

  15. @Anil: You may be right... I am reminded of the fire-stricken grasslands where new shoots come up after the rains...


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